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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Orbital ATK - Antares/Cygnus Mission Section => Topic started by: Norm38 on 10/29/2014 03:30 PM

Title: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Norm38 on 10/29/2014 03:30 PM
Since we want to keep the Cygnus Update thread clear of wandering discussions, a separate discussion thread is needed to cover questions I wanted to ask.  I'll start the thread off with my question that got deleted.


In the event that there is something very wrong with the AJ-26 engines and Antares is grounded for a long period of time (1-3 years), it may be difficult for SpaceX to pick up the slack.  They are geared up to build more F9s than Dragons.  So Orbital still has value to add during an Antares stand down by continuing to build Cygnus if they can fly it on another rocket.

I started off by noting that both Cygnus and Orbital's SES-8 satellite are both based on Orbital's STAR bus.  Orbital is intimately familiar with the F9 fairing and payload interface, so if Cygnus fits inside the F9 fairing, is Cygnus compatible with F9?  How are Cygnus and SES-8 different from a pad/fairing interface point of view?

To which Jim replied:
Why not atlas or delta

And I responded:
No issue with that, and actually flying on ULA keeps launcher redundancy.  If Cygnus goes on F9, and SpaceX has a failure, we have no US cargo capability.

I'm just more familiar with recent SpaceX launces, so I was looking at the SES-8 launch, because of the STAR bus.  But Delta II launched OCO-2 built around the LEOStar bus.

So the question stands.  If an alternate launcher (ULA or F9) has launched an Orbital Satellite based on the STAR bus, then is the payload interface compatible with Cygnus?  What new work would have to be done?

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: yokem55 on 10/29/2014 05:12 PM
In the financial conference call this morning, the question about outsourcing was passed. You can't read too much in that but it sounds like they aren't ruling it out yet and the topic is sensitive enough that they aren't saying anything about it yet.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/29/2014 05:27 PM
I was also wondering how NASA plan to fill in for Antares/Cygnus if it is grounded for >6mth.

The big issue with both SpaceX and ULA is finding a spare LV these are built to order. I doubt either company has spares. The alternative is to grab the LV from another scheduled government flight.

SpaceX might have a spare USED 1st stage available soon and have few used Dragons in storage, building an extra 2 and stage shouldn't be a problem.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 10/29/2014 05:28 PM

So the question stands.  If an alternate launcher (ULA or F9) has launched an Orbital Satellite based on the STAR bus, then is the payload interface compatible with Cygnus?  What new work would have to be done?

All the analytical integration work.
Little if anything mechanical work would need to be done if they use an existing adapter.  Fairing access would be some work if needed.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 10/29/2014 05:29 PM

The big issue with both SpaceX and ULA is finding a spare LV these are built to order. I doubt either company has spares. The alternative is to grab the LV from another scheduled government flight.


Launch vehicles are built to order.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 10/29/2014 05:44 PM
Orb/Cygnus was not really expected to launch again until Q1 2015, and the next one after that was in the Summer of 2015. So it does not appear to me they will miss much with a 6-9 month delay in launches.

SpaceX has about 5 Dragon's planned for 2015, so it is not likely they could squeeze in any more.

A year long delay OTOH, would definitely be a problem. Might have to order another ATV or HTV. Dragon does not do garbage duty anyway.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Lars-J on 10/29/2014 07:04 PM
Orb/Cygnus was not really expected to launch again until Q1 2015, and the next one after that was in the Summer of 2015. So it does not appear to me they will miss much with a 6-9 month delay in launches.

SpaceX has about 5 Dragon's planned for 2015, so it is not likely they could squeeze in any more.

A year long delay OTOH, would definitely be a problem. Might have to order another ATV or HTV. Dragon does not do garbage duty either.

ATV's are now out of production. Not sure about HTV. Unless Dragon production can be accelerated (I think this is the long pole for SpaceX CRS launches) then launching Cygnus on F9 might be an option. Especially if Antares won't fly for a year.

Yes, Atlas V could to it as well - but I think SpaceX has more schedule flexibility with its customers. They also have a CRS contract with NASA, which might give NASA some leverage to make them add a Cygnus launch? (or not)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 10/29/2014 07:20 PM

The big issue with both SpaceX and ULA is finding a spare LV these are built to order. I doubt either company has spares. The alternative is to grab the LV from another scheduled government flight.


Launch vehicles are built to order.

Jim was reading elsewhere 2015 was going to be lower in launch rate for ULA

ULA months ago added some production of Delta IV cores for the RD-180 hype.  ULA might have extra cores in work.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: watermod on 10/29/2014 07:21 PM
A totally off the wall multiple part question:

For the purposes of full non-perishable supply to ISS with the planned  Cygnus  craft.
1) How many Cygnus could be lofted at a time by a Falcon Heavy?
2) If close to the number of mission Orbital has planned for ISS in it's downtime would Orbital or Nasa consider placing them in a parking orbit and then sending Cygnus as needed from that orbit to ISS?
3) Could a Cygnus remain parked in an orbit for a long time before being used?  (batteries etc.)
4) What  would it take to convince Elon or Orbital to risk this on the Falcon Heavy test flight?

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Norm38 on 10/29/2014 07:32 PM
^^^  The fairing for FH isn't any bigger than the fairing for F9.   So the FH doesn't buy you anything, can only loft one Cygnus per launch.   I think F9 could lift the enhanced Cygnus (assuming it fits) fully loaded.  Dragon is always volume, not payload limited and Cygnus doesn't have a trunk.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Zed_Noir on 10/29/2014 08:36 PM
A totally off the wall multiple part question:

For the purposes of full non-perishable supply to ISS with the planned  Cygnus  craft.
1) How many Cygnus could be lofted at a time by a Falcon Heavy?
2) If close to the number of mission Orbital has planned for ISS in it's downtime would Orbital or Nasa consider placing them in a parking orbit and then sending Cygnus as needed from that orbit to ISS?
3) Could a Cygnus remain parked in an orbit for a long time before being used?  (batteries etc.)
4) What  would it take to convince Elon or Orbital to risk this on the Falcon Heavy test flight?
^^^  The fairing for FH isn't any bigger than the fairing for F9.   So the FH doesn't buy you anything, can only loft one Cygnus per launch.   I think F9 could lift the enhanced Cygnus (assuming it fits) fully loaded.  Dragon is always volume, not payload limited and Cygnus doesn't have a trunk.
#1,#2,#4: No need for the Falcon Heavy, the F9 can lift the enhanced Cygnus at full cargo mass with the current PLF.

#3: Moot, since the Falcon Heavy is not needed.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 10/29/2014 08:41 PM
They also have a CRS contract with NASA, which might give NASA some leverage to make them add a Cygnus launch?

OSC has a CRS contract too, they could contract ULA for launch services and this would be transparent to NASA.  NASA has no leverage on Spacex or OSC to tell them which launch vehicle to use.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 10/29/2014 08:44 PM
A totally off the wall multiple part question:

For the purposes of full non-perishable supply to ISS with the planned  Cygnus  craft.
1) How many Cygnus could be lofted at a time by a Falcon Heavy?
2) If close to the number of mission Orbital has planned for ISS in it's downtime would Orbital or Nasa consider placing them in a parking orbit and then sending Cygnus as needed from that orbit to ISS?
3) Could a Cygnus remain parked in an orbit for a long time before being used?  (batteries etc.)
4) What  would it take to convince Elon or Orbital to risk this on the Falcon Heavy test flight?


1. 1
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: sdsds on 11/01/2014 06:57 PM
I am hoping the Antares mishap will motivate Orbital to pursue integration of Cygnus on Delta IV, both as a backup strategy for CRS if Antares doesn't return to flight soon, and as a forward-looking strategy to expand the capabilities of Cygnus beyond LEO ISS resupply.

Although technically they may be more capable, from a broader perspective neither Atlas nor Falcon works as well as Delta in the alternate CRS launcher role. With Atlas it's the RD-180 problem; with Falcon it's the lack of CRS launcher diversity (viz. Dragon) problem. I'm not sure which Delta IV M+ variant would be appropriate for launching an Enhanced Cygnus to ISS. Has anyone explored that?

On the forward-looking aspect: Antares was never going to be a launcher that could take a Cygnus beyond LEO, e.g. for cargo resupply of a mission in a lunar DRO. I assume Delta IV Heavy as the launcher for this role. Having already flown at least one LEO Cygnus on a DIV-M would provide some level of risk reduction prior to proceeding with a BLEO Cygnus on DIV-H....
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: gongora on 11/01/2014 07:12 PM
I am hoping the Antares mishap will motivate Orbital to pursue integration of Cygnus on Delta IV, both as a backup strategy for CRS if Antares doesn't return to flight soon, and as a forward-looking strategy to expand the capabilities of Cygnus beyond LEO ISS resupply.

Delta IV is one of the most expensive rockets in the world.  Orbital has a fixed price contract.  That is not going to happen.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 11/01/2014 07:13 PM
I'm not sure which Delta IV M+ variant would be appropriate for launching an Enhanced Cygnus to ISS.

Stock DIV M should be plenty. An M+ could probably put one through GTO.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: hop on 11/01/2014 07:55 PM
Re alternative LVs for Cygnus, how about Soyuz? Commercially available through a "western" provider (Arianespace from CSG or Baikonur with Starsem), presumably cheaper than Atlas and Delta, payload to LEO and fairing size (with ST fairing) should be sufficient.

Not really a serious suggestion, but seems like a better fit than most of the alternatives.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: sdsds on 11/01/2014 07:59 PM
I am hoping [Orbital will] pursue integration of Cygnus on Delta IV
Delta IV is one of the most expensive rockets in the world.  Orbital has a fixed price contract.  That is not going to happen.

Yes, there are high costs associated with Delta IV. I do not know what price Orbital would pay for a Delta IV launch. Do you?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 11/01/2014 08:00 PM
They also have a CRS contract with NASA, which might give NASA some leverage to make them add a Cygnus launch?

OSC has a CRS contract too, they could contract ULA for launch services and this would be transparent to NASA.  NASA has no leverage on Spacex or OSC to tell them which launch vehicle to use.

In another thread Dan thought of using Arianne if ULA isn't able to free up a core or two. 

Sure, Arianne has issues of its own, and has a spare Soyuz-ST that could be used for Cygnus,   
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34129.msg1268946#msg1268946

a Win Win for both firms.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 11/01/2014 08:22 PM

In another thread Dan thought of using Arianne if ULA isn't able to free up a core or two. 

Sure, Arianne has issues of its own, and has a spare Soyuz-ST that could be used for Cygnus,   
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34129.msg1268946#msg1268946

a Win Win for both firms.


No, it has to be a US rocket
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/01/2014 08:49 PM
This thought of how Orbital is to fulfill its current CRS contract with cargo to the ISS using another launch vehicle is, imo, just silly.

It may be that they can't fulfill their full contract, but I'm sure they'd consider that a better bet than pushing something out that isn't ready. The push should be the future, and to me that means hoping to get a portion of the CRS2 contract (in tandem with SpaceX). Being ready for that should be the #1 goal. Now if they can bring that launch vehicle design online sooner to help finish out even a part of their remaining CRS1 contract, that will only help the company in the long term.

The short term will see an impact to science on the ISS, but at this stage that is already unavoidable (as experiments have already been lost for the upcoming science time-frame). Being ready to help support ISS for its future is more important.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 11/01/2014 08:51 PM
It may be that they can't fulfill their full contract, but I'm sure they'd consider that a better bet than pushing something out that isn't ready. The push should be the future, and to me that means hoping to get a portion of the CRS2 contract (in tandem with SpaceX). Being ready for that should be the #1 goal.

If they can't fulfill their CRS-1 contract, they aren't going to get a CRS-2 contract
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/01/2014 09:20 PM
It may be that they can't fulfill their full contract, but I'm sure they'd consider that a better bet than pushing something out that isn't ready. The push should be the future, and to me that means hoping to get a portion of the CRS2 contract (in tandem with SpaceX). Being ready for that should be the #1 goal.

If they can't fulfill their CRS-1 contract, they aren't going to get a CRS-2 contract

But that would be up to NASA to decide, no?

And NASA already has a substantial investment in getting Orbital to the point of ISS re-supply, with limited options in the near term, so perhaps contract re-negotiation could be in order.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/01/2014 09:29 PM
It may be that they can't fulfill their full contract, but I'm sure they'd consider that a better bet than pushing something out that isn't ready. The push should be the future, and to me that means hoping to get a portion of the CRS2 contract (in tandem with SpaceX). Being ready for that should be the #1 goal.
If they can't fulfill their CRS-1 contract, they aren't going to get a CRS-2 contract
But that would be up to NASA to decide, no?

And NASA already has a substantial investment in getting Orbital to the point of ISS re-supply, with limited options in the near term, so perhaps contract re-negotiation could be in order.

I agree with Jim.  If CRS2 has pretty much the same requirements as the current CRS1 contract, then if Orbital can't complete their CRS1 contract why would anyone think they could handle the CRS2 contract?

And from a business standpoint, why would you put your faith in a company that has not been able to fulfill a contract you already have with them?  You wouldn't.

But for the record, I think Orbital will figure out how to get the rest of their CRS1 missions done.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: ugordan on 11/01/2014 09:35 PM
But for the record, I think Orbital will figure out how to get the rest of their CRS1 missions done.

To that end, this paragraph from Orbital's latest update is pertinent:

Quote from: Orbital
CRS Go-Forward Plan

The company’s senior managers have begun developing a comprehensive plan to maintain the cargo supply line between Earth and the International Space Station, fulfilling Orbital’s commitment to NASA for the delivery of supplies for the astronaut crew, necessary equipment for the operation and maintenance of the station, and scientific experiments conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory. Details about Orbital’s approach for completing future missions under its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA will be made public in the near future.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/01/2014 09:39 PM
It may be that they can't fulfill their full contract, but I'm sure they'd consider that a better bet than pushing something out that isn't ready. The push should be the future, and to me that means hoping to get a portion of the CRS2 contract (in tandem with SpaceX). Being ready for that should be the #1 goal.
If they can't fulfill their CRS-1 contract, they aren't going to get a CRS-2 contract
But that would be up to NASA to decide, no?

And NASA already has a substantial investment in getting Orbital to the point of ISS re-supply, with limited options in the near term, so perhaps contract re-negotiation could be in order.

I agree with Jim.  If CRS2 has pretty much the same requirements as the current CRS1 contract, then if Orbital can't complete their CRS1 contract why would anyone think they could handle the CRS2 contract?

And from a business standpoint, why would you put your faith in a company that has not been able to fulfill a contract you already have with them?  You wouldn't.

But for the record, I think Orbital will figure out how to get the rest of their CRS1 missions done.

Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible. Of course NASA would want assurances before that cut off point, but I see more than enough time to fly a re-designed Antares, rather than fielding an entirely new spacecraft, perhaps building a new launch pad (if required), and meeting NASA's ISS requirements (including 1 flight with prox ops).

I see Orbital still using Antares, albeit likely with a new engine. (And personally I'd call it the Phoenix, understandably, but they likely won't change the name, and let's not start a naming game on this thread)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/01/2014 09:39 PM
It may be that they can't fulfill their full contract, but I'm sure they'd consider that a better bet than pushing something out that isn't ready. The push should be the future, and to me that means hoping to get a portion of the CRS2 contract (in tandem with SpaceX). Being ready for that should be the #1 goal.

If they can't fulfill their CRS-1 contract, they aren't going to get a CRS-2 contract
You seem very sure of that.

The only thing that would stop them flying the current Antares again is if it is AJ26 problem that can't be resolved. Any other possible failings of LV should be solvable.

Everything in public domain points to them using a different engine for CRS2 contract so any failure due to AJ26 shouldn't count against them. Plus tender is not just about LV but also the Cygnus which has proved its self. ISS is more precious than any cargo, having a reliable flight proven cargo vehicle is a huge plus for Orbital.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: ugordan on 11/01/2014 09:56 PM
Everything in public domain points to them using a different engine for CRS2 contract so any failure due to AJ26 shouldn't count against them.

No, but "past" performance on CRS-1 could.

Plus tender is not just about LV but also the Cygnus which has proved its self. ISS is more precious than any cargo, having a reliable flight proven cargo vehicle is a huge plus for Orbital.

If there's anything to take away from all this, it's that terms like "reliable" shouldn't be thrown around for systems that have less than a dozen flights under their belt. That goes for *both* CRS-1 contractors.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/01/2014 09:58 PM
It may be that they can't fulfill their full contract, but I'm sure they'd consider that a better bet than pushing something out that isn't ready. The push should be the future, and to me that means hoping to get a portion of the CRS2 contract (in tandem with SpaceX). Being ready for that should be the #1 goal.

If they can't fulfill their CRS-1 contract, they aren't going to get a CRS-2 contract
You seem very sure of that.

The only thing that would stop them flying the current Antares again is if it is AJ26 problem that can't be resolved. Any other possible failings of LV should be solvable.

Everything in public domain points to them using a different engine for CRS2 contract so any failure due to AJ26 shouldn't count against them. Plus tender is not just about LV but also the Cygnus which has proved its self. ISS is more precious than any cargo, having a reliable flight proven cargo vehicle is a huge plus for Orbital.

Well to be fair to Jim's point, a contract is a contract, and the cargo these 2 commercial vehicles provides (which NASA is counting on), sustains the ISS; without both of them operating reliably, the ISS cannot. NASA requires mission assurance, and the contracts that NASA let to bring these companies to this point were to mitigate risk. Clearly there is a flaw in the rocket that needs to be resolved, and if the current engine fails to bring that assurance, Orbital needs a plan in place to deal with that (which they apparently do). It would come down to time to get it fielded in time.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 11/01/2014 11:27 PM

In another thread Dan thought of using Arianne if ULA isn't able to free up a core or two. 

Sure, Arianne has issues of its own, and has a spare Soyuz-ST that could be used for Cygnus,   
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34129.msg1268946#msg1268946

a Win Win for both firms.


No, it has to be a US rocket

ok that locks things down, per the Cots agreement among other things.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: gongora on 11/01/2014 11:54 PM
Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible.

I thought the intent of the CRS1 extensions was to buy MORE flights to fill the gap between the scheduled CRS1 missions and the beginning of CRS2?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/02/2014 01:30 AM
Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible.

I thought the intent of the CRS1 extensions was to buy MORE flights to fill the gap between the scheduled CRS1 missions and the beginning of CRS2?
Not according to what I found:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cff80051d20c232523953c167a42b410&tab=core&_cview=0
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Patchouli on 11/02/2014 01:31 AM

Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible. Of course NASA would want assurances before that cut off point, but I see more than enough time to fly a re-designed Antares, rather than fielding an entirely new spacecraft, perhaps building a new launch pad (if required), and meeting NASA's ISS requirements (including 1 flight with prox ops).

I see Orbital still using Antares, albeit likely with a new engine. (And personally I'd call it the Phoenix, understandably, but they likely won't change the name, and let's not start a naming game on this thread)
The standard sized Cyngus probably also can fit on Stratolaunch.
 OSC is developing the rocket so it would make sense to go ahead and design a payload interface for their own vehicles.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/02/2014 01:46 AM

Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible. Of course NASA would want assurances before that cut off point, but I see more than enough time to fly a re-designed Antares, rather than fielding an entirely new spacecraft, perhaps building a new launch pad (if required), and meeting NASA's ISS requirements (including 1 flight with prox ops).

I see Orbital still using Antares, albeit likely with a new engine. (And personally I'd call it the Phoenix, understandably, but they likely won't change the name, and let's not start a naming game on this thread)
The standard sized Cyngus probably also can fit on Stratolaunch.
 OSC is developing the rocket so it would make sense to go ahead and design a payload interface for their own vehicles.

Not going to happen.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/02/2014 01:53 AM
Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible.

I thought the intent of the CRS1 extensions was to buy MORE flights to fill the gap between the scheduled CRS1 missions and the beginning of CRS2?
Not according to what I found:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cff80051d20c232523953c167a42b410&tab=core&_cview=0
I read it as an extension to SpaceX and Orbital for 2016 but 2017 could be allocated to a CRS2 winner if they are ready in time.

If SpaceX or Orbital's CRS2 flight is lower than present and they win will 2017 flights be at CRS2 prices?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: gongora on 11/02/2014 02:06 AM
Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible.

I thought the intent of the CRS1 extensions was to buy MORE flights to fill the gap between the scheduled CRS1 missions and the beginning of CRS2?
Not according to what I found:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cff80051d20c232523953c167a42b410&tab=core&_cview=0

The wording in that is really strange.  The CRS contracts already went to the end of 2016, and both Orbital and SpaceX are scheduled to do their final flights under the original contract in late 2016.  There is a one year gap because CRS2 isn't scheduled to start until 2018, so they need to buy another 4-5 flights in 2017.  I think that posting really is to buy the additional 2017 flights, just hard to understand what all the bureaucratic language is actually saying.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/02/2014 02:23 AM
Well I didn't know about this when I first posted (yes, posting without full knowledge of the facts), but NASA had put out a request to extend the CRS1 contract to allow both Orbital and SpaceX up to the end of 2017 to fulfill CRS1 (albeit to mitigate risk, and allow additional providers a chance to bid on CRS2). That gives Orbital up to 38 months, which I believe is possible.

I thought the intent of the CRS1 extensions was to buy MORE flights to fill the gap between the scheduled CRS1 missions and the beginning of CRS2?
Not according to what I found:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cff80051d20c232523953c167a42b410&tab=core&_cview=0

The wording in that is really strange.  The CRS contracts already went to the end of 2016, and both Orbital and SpaceX are scheduled to do their final flights under the original contract in late 2016.  There is a one year gap because CRS2 isn't scheduled to start until 2018, so they need to buy another 4-5 flights in 2017.  I think that posting really is to buy the additional 2017 flights, just hard to understand what all the bureaucratic language is actually saying.


I believe the key point is the first paragraph (bold mine):

"NASA/JSC intends to extend the existing Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts NNJ09GA02B, with Orbital Sciences Corporation, hereinafter referred to as Orbital, and NNJ09GA04B, with Space Exploration Technologies, hereinafter referred to as SpaceX for up to 24 months from December 2015 to December 2017 at no cost. Both contracts were awarded in December 2008 and have a not to exceed (NTE) contract value of 3.1B each."
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: gongora on 11/02/2014 03:05 AM
I believe the key point is the first paragraph (bold mine):

"NASA/JSC intends to extend the existing Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts NNJ09GA02B, with Orbital Sciences Corporation, hereinafter referred to as Orbital, and NNJ09GA04B, with Space Exploration Technologies, hereinafter referred to as SpaceX for up to 24 months from December 2015 to December 2017 at no cost. Both contracts were awarded in December 2008 and have a not to exceed (NTE) contract value of 3.1B each."

Found a copy of what appears to be a CRS contract online that has the Dec 2015 end date, but everything else I've seen, including NASA release from Dec 2008 http://www.nasa.gov/offices/c3po/home/CRS-Announcement-Dec-08.html (http://www.nasa.gov/offices/c3po/home/CRS-Announcement-Dec-08.html), says the end date is Dec 2016, so the first year of the extension might just be bookkeeping to align the initial contract with what it was meant to be anyway.  I think the "no cost" part just means no more guaranteed money, because they'd be buying flights as needed and it still fits into the initial maximum values of the contracts?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 11/02/2014 10:41 AM
It looks like they are just extending the period of performance.  Which means they can add missions as long as they stay within max value or they allow for flights to slip into the extension.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 11/02/2014 04:04 PM
IIRC, there was different cutoff date for ordering the flights than actually performing them. Thus, I would guess that Dec 2015 was the cutoff for ordering and Dec 2016 for performing. That was the contractural obligation. But they could do it late if all parties were in agreement. Since the CRS2 non-incumbent competitors actually asked for extra time, I guess they'll extend CRS1 at least to Dec 2017. I simply don't seen anybody else with a chance of deploying and certifying a VV to the ISS before that. Unless Boeing wants to use NDS, which would have to use the secondary port and still do the robotic aprox ops.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Billium on 11/02/2014 04:34 PM
I was wondering if you could put the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) for Cygnus in the Dragon Trunk?

The PCM for Cygnus has a diameter of 3.07m and a height that looks to be about 2.4m. The dry mass is 1,500kg including the service module I think, so maybe just 750kg for the PCM?

Dragon has a diameter of 3.7m and CRS-8 is carrying BEAM in the trunk and BEAM has a 3.2m diameter (although this likely is less for transport) and 4m height and is 1,360kg.

It seems like it would fit to me. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 11/02/2014 05:06 PM
I was wondering if you could put the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) for Cygnus in the Dragon Trunk?

The PCM for Cygnus has a diameter of 3.07m and a height that looks to be about 2.4m. The dry mass is 1,500kg including the service module I think, so maybe just 750kg for the PCM?

Dragon has a diameter of 3.7m and CRS-8 is carrying BEAM in the trunk and BEAM has a 3.2m diameter (although this likely is less for transport) and 4m height and is 1,360kg.

It seems like it would fit to me. Thoughts?

No.

A.  the Dragon can not maneuver with it
b.  The PCM is not made to be pulled into orbit
c.  Trunk does not the structural capability
d.  No performance to carry it
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 11/03/2014 01:30 PM
I was wondering if you could put the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) for Cygnus in the Dragon Trunk?

The PCM for Cygnus has a diameter of 3.07m and a height that looks to be about 2.4m. The dry mass is 1,500kg including the service module I think, so maybe just 750kg for the PCM?

Dragon has a diameter of 3.7m and CRS-8 is carrying BEAM in the trunk and BEAM has a 3.2m diameter (although this likely is less for transport) and 4m height and is 1,360kg.

It seems like it would fit to me. Thoughts?

No.

A.  the Dragon can not maneuver with it
b.  The PCM is not made to be pulled into orbit
c.  Trunk does not the structural capability
d.  No performance to carry it
All that plus:
e. Trunk has radiators and solar panels. Cygnus has those on the service module.
f. would still need two adapters since Trunk is also the adapter to the F9 upper stage. And the smaller diameter of the Cygnus PCM would need to be attached to the wider Dragon base. And avoid damaging the heat shield at that.
g. If you look at the integrated Dragon, it has an attachment on the side from the Trunk to the capsule. It's usually called the Claw, but it routes power, heat rejection and data. You'd have to route that along the PCM.
h. It's easier to develop a PCM for Dragon than start from the Cygnus PCM. It's an idea I've proposed multiple times for CRS2.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 11/04/2014 08:18 PM
Announcement tomorrow on going forward plans for Antares:
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1985588
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Mader Levap on 11/27/2014 09:03 PM
And no one is surpised in slighest. Except those folks that denied this possibility so vehemently...  ::)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: friendly3 on 11/27/2014 11:06 PM
Who are "those folks"?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Mader Levap on 11/28/2014 01:39 PM
Who are "those folks"?
Month ago or so (I do not remember exactly who, I just remember post) someone fumed at even mentioning possibility that Orbital would buy launch from SpaceX. After all, they are cutthroat competition, not in milion years or something.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: llanitedave on 11/28/2014 07:05 PM
Who are "those folks"?
Month ago or so (I do not remember exactly who, I just remember post) someone fumed at even mentioning possibility that Orbital would buy launch from SpaceX. After all, they are cutthroat competition, not in milion years or something.

Yes, there is one who would insist that no choice is preferable to Atlas V.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/28/2014 07:46 PM
It would be interesting to know what SpaceX will charge Orbital. Last I read the Cygnus missions were costing NASA $200m+ each.
 Orbital might actually make a nice profit out of using the F9.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: friendly3 on 11/29/2014 01:02 AM
Who are "those folks"?
Month ago or so (I do not remember exactly who, I just remember post) someone fumed at even mentioning possibility that Orbital would buy launch from SpaceX. After all, they are cutthroat competition, not in milion years or something.

Well, they are no more "folks" but only "someone", that doesn't mean anything.
Orbital is a private old space company with some new space lipstick, they are mostly interested in $$$. So if they can make more $$$ by launching on Falcon 9 they will.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: darkenfast on 11/29/2014 08:24 AM
I see them as more complementary than competitive.  Cygnus and Dragon have different strengths and weaknesses.  SpaceX already works with Orbital on satellite launches.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: dror on 11/29/2014 10:32 AM
(1)The standard sized Cyngus probably also can fit on Stratolaunch.
 OSC is developing the rocket so it would make sense to go ahead and design a payload interface for their own vehicles.

Not going to happen.

Can you please say why not?
Is (1) wrong or lack of performance or lack of incentives or short time scales or what?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 11/29/2014 03:53 PM
I was wondering if you could put the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) for Cygnus in the Dragon Trunk?

The PCM for Cygnus has a diameter of 3.07m and a height that looks to be about 2.4m. The dry mass is 1,500kg including the service module I think, so maybe just 750kg for the PCM?

Dragon has a diameter of 3.7m and CRS-8 is carrying BEAM in the trunk and BEAM has a 3.2m diameter (although this likely is less for transport) and 4m height and is 1,360kg.

It seems like it would fit to me. Thoughts?

No.

A.  the Dragon can not maneuver with it
b.  The PCM is not made to be pulled into orbit
c.  Trunk does not the structural capability
d.  No performance to carry it

Re (d) - if F9 can really do 13t expendable to LEO, ISTM it could manage both a Dragon and a Cygnus (perhaps part loaded).

Not saying it would fit in the trunk or anything like that, but ISTM F9E has quite a lot of performance in reserve when it lifts Dragon.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: guckyfan on 11/29/2014 04:41 PM
Not saying it would fit in the trunk or anything like that, but ISTM F9E has quite a lot of performance in reserve when it lifts Dragon.

Cheers, Martin

The limitation would not be the payload capacity of Falcon 9 it would be the payload capacity of Dragon. According to wikipedia Dragon has a maximum payload of 3310kg. The dry mass of Cygnus would be included in this total mass.

Edited for clarity.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 11/29/2014 06:05 PM


Not saying it would fit in the trunk or anything like that, but ISTM F9E has quite a lot of performance in reserve when it lifts Dragon.

Cheers, Martin

The limitation would not be the payload capacity of Falcon 9 it would be the payload capacity of Dragon. According to wikipedia Dragon has a maximum payload of 3310kg. The dry mass of Cygnus would be included in this total mass.

Edited for clarity.

That appears to be a Dragon limitation, not an F9 one. I suspect the limitation is in total impulse and control authority of Dragon's thrusters.

Just a reminder, Dragon and Cygnus can't be linked. As you point out, Dragon can't possibly cope with the extra mass, and neither were designed to cope with being combined, anyway.

Assuming no payload in Dragon's trunk, any part of that 3310kg that won't fit in the pressurised volume becomes available to be part of Cygnus' mass.

If Cygnus launches underneath Dragon, it would be a completely independent secondary payload, just like that poor failed Orbcomm sat, or a CubeSat.

Given competition for the CBM, I suspect one of the pair would have to loiter while the other docks, is unloaded, reloaded and departs.

Dragon demonstrated some loiter capability on COTS 2/3, when it had to loiter after the "2" mission, before getting go to undertake the "3" mission. I believe Cygnus is quite capable of the same, if it comes to that.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 11/29/2014 06:24 PM
Seems that this tread is heading in the wrong  direction. Sure, SpaceX might be launching Cygnus on a Falcon 9 but, this will be like any other independent CRS launch. They'll just put a fairing shroud around Cygnus and off she goes to put it simply. Of course, there are a lot of different elements to the launch but, it seems completely doable otherwise Orbital and SpaceX would not even entertain it.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: AncientU on 11/30/2014 12:28 AM
Wow, launch flexibility, responsiveness, lower prices, commercially viable launcher... sounds like something the USAF ought to look into... (Note: Orbital probably isn't paying a billion dollars a year to ensure such launch capability exists)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/30/2014 02:09 AM
(1)The standard sized Cyngus probably also can fit on Stratolaunch.
 OSC is developing the rocket so it would make sense to go ahead and design a payload interface for their own vehicles.

Not going to happen.

Can you please say why not?
Is (1) wrong or lack of performance or lack of incentives or short time scales or what?


The timescale is just too far in the future.
Looking at how long White Knight took to develop and fly for VG, before you put a Cygnus on Stratolaunch vehicle it faces a similar test regime. Plus, the future is quite uncertain for the ISS (as per other threads).
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 11/30/2014 02:42 AM
BTW, SpaceX lists Dragon as 6,000 kg (apparently including cargo, and including trunk cargo), and Billium lists Cygnus as 1,500 kg empty (which seems about right from my previous web searches).

Even if Dragon is at its max mass, then 2,500 kg of cargo in Cygnus would only bring the total mass to orbit up to 10t. If we're assuming 13t to std LEO, then I'd think that 10t would be possible to ISS inclination.

Not included in this mass is an adapter required to accommodate Cygnus under Dragon - it looks way too big to fit into the trunk.

However, I'm assuming Dragon's mass will be well under 6,000 kg as I wouldn't imagine it would carry any trunk cargo, so it appears to me the total mass to orbit would be well under 10t.

The biggest issue (and I think makes it completely impossible in the timeframe), is having to develop the  adapter / trunk extension to physically accommodate Cygnus. This would also, of course change the relationship of Dragon to the TEL (total height of the stack).

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Billium on 11/30/2014 03:49 AM
Thanks to Jim and everyone who replied to my post. I think my problem is lack of solid information on the hight and mass of the PCM of cygnus and the dimensions of what will fit in the dragon trunk.

The sources I can find indicate cygnus is 3.66m high and 1,500kg for the whole thing. Does anyone know how much just for the PCM? Assuming both dry, which would have more mass, the PCM or SM?

If dragon can carry 3,300kg total, and carries 1,500kg of its own pressurized cargo, that leave 1,800kg for the trunk. If the PCM alone is 800kg that leaves 1,000kg for PCM cargo. I don't know the mass of the PCM, but it looks like mass is not a problem. As I say I would be very interested in better information.

In term of height I estimated PCM at 2.4m, because the extended cygnus adds 1 segment and 1.2m, the normal cyguns is made up of 2 segments.

Beam is going in the trunk for CRS-8, and it is 4m tall, so the PCM should be smaller. So is the problem diameter? Beam is supposed to be 3.2m, and Cygnus is 3.07m, but maybe that is the inflated diameter of beam, not what travels in the trunk.

I was thinking the Canada arm could just pull PCM out of the trunk after berthing.

Anyways, I'm happy to be wrong, but I don't understand what the wrong assumptions are that I have made. If anyone can provide more details on what is wrong with my calculations I would appreciate it.

As an aside, Dragon is volume constrained, maybe Spacex could add their own PCM to the trunk for the next contract. It would have to be disposable, which isn't there style, but it could significantly add to their pressurized volume.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/30/2014 05:01 AM
Re (d) - if F9 can really do 13t expendable to LEO, ISTM it could manage both a Dragon and a Cygnus (perhaps part loaded).
SpaceX listed 13.15 tonnes payload to a 185 km x 28.5 deg orbit.  That only means 12 point something tonnes (maybe 12.3 tonnes, give or take) to a 51.6 deg ISS orbit, still at only 185 km.

The most recent Dragons were more than 8.6 tonnes loaded, and the blown up Cygnus was something like 5.6 tonnes loaded.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: friendly3 on 11/30/2014 06:50 AM
-Falcon 9 fairing : 13.1m height, 5.2m diameter
-"Old Cygnus" : 5.1m height, 3.07m diameter
-Enhanced Cygnus : 6.36m height, 3.07m diameter

No way to put a Cygnus inside Dragon's trunk. Fig 4, 5 and 6 won't happen.
The maximum payload of an enhanced Cygnus on an Antares was supposed to be 2,700 kilograms. Of course it will be much more on a Falcon 9.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 11/30/2014 07:47 AM


Re (d) - if F9 can really do 13t expendable to LEO, ISTM it could manage both a Dragon and a Cygnus (perhaps part loaded).
SpaceX listed 13.15 tonnes payload to a 185 km x 28.5 deg orbit.  That only means 12 point something tonnes (maybe 12.3 tonnes, give or take) to a 51.6 deg ISS orbit, still at only 185 km.

The most recent Dragons were more than 8.6 tonnes loaded, and the blown up Cygnus was something like 5.6 tonnes loaded.

 - Ed Kyle


Thanks for setting me straight, Ed.

Looks like this is where I was going wrong:-

BTW, SpaceX lists Dragon as 6,000 kg (apparently including cargo, and including trunk cargo)...

Guess that's empty, then.

Didn't appreciate that there was such a difference in the mass efficiency of Cygnus dry mass vs Dragon.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: newpylong on 11/30/2014 11:07 AM
You are all assuming this launch is going to be from the East Coast and thus the full payload capability of F9 will be available.

Does their near term manifest allow for an East Coast launch, or is the "hole" in the manifest just SLC-4? Should be plenty of performance for Cygnus vs Dragon off the West Coast.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: guckyfan on 11/30/2014 11:40 AM
You are all assuming this launch is going to be from the East Coast and thus the full payload capability of F9 will be available.

Does their near term manifest allow for an East Coast launch, or is the "hole" in the manifest just SLC-4? Should be plenty of performance for Cygnus vs Dragon off the West Coast.

West coast depends on NASA being able to load Cygnus there, especially late load. Do we know they can do it in Vandenberg?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 11/30/2014 12:09 PM
You are all assuming this launch is going to be from the East Coast and thus the full payload capability of F9 will be available.

Does their near term manifest allow for an East Coast launch, or is the "hole" in the manifest just SLC-4? Should be plenty of performance for Cygnus vs Dragon off the West Coast.

West coast depends on NASA being able to load Cygnus there, especially late load. Do we know they can do it in Vandenberg?

Late loads for Cygnus were processed horizontally the same as Dragon.  Flying loads out west shouldn't be an issue.  Dragon science return is handled from out west.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 11/30/2014 03:24 PM

Late loads for Cygnus were processed horizontally the same as Dragon.  Flying loads out west shouldn't be an issue.  Dragon science return is handled from out west.


Not the same.  Cygnus is in a fairing, where as Dragon is not.  There is no access to the Cygnus while in the fairing.  Dragon can be accessed at the pad.   Location of science return has no bearing on prelaunch early access
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 11/30/2014 04:50 PM

Late loads for Cygnus were processed horizontally the same as Dragon.  Flying loads out west shouldn't be an issue.  Dragon science return is handled from out west.


Not the same.  Cygnus is in a fairing, where as Dragon is not.  There is no access to the Cygnus while in the fairing.  Dragon can be accessed at the pad.   Location of science return has no bearing on prelaunch early access

huh? you saying Cygnus didn't do late loading?

again flying late loads out to the West coast vs East coast should NOT be and issue.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: newpylong on 12/01/2014 06:33 PM

Late loads for Cygnus were processed horizontally the same as Dragon.  Flying loads out west shouldn't be an issue.  Dragon science return is handled from out west.


Not the same.  Cygnus is in a fairing, where as Dragon is not.  There is no access to the Cygnus while in the fairing.  Dragon can be accessed at the pad.   Location of science return has no bearing on prelaunch early access

huh? you saying Cygnus didn't do late loading?

again flying late loads out to the West coast vs East coast should NOT be and issue.

No you are correct, they will be able to have the same access on the West or East coast. I think he was just saying Cygnus can't be accessed on the pad like Dragon can - not that there physically is even a way for a human to get access to Dragon once vertical. If it has to come down  be accessed it might as well be the same as rolling back and pulling the fairing like Cygnus. ULA really is the only one with true pad access.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 12/01/2014 07:19 PM

Late loads for Cygnus were processed horizontally the same as Dragon.  Flying loads out west shouldn't be an issue.  Dragon science return is handled from out west.


Not the same.  Cygnus is in a fairing, where as Dragon is not.  There is no access to the Cygnus while in the fairing.  Dragon can be accessed at the pad.   Location of science return has no bearing on prelaunch early access

huh? you saying Cygnus didn't do late loading?

again flying late loads out to the West coast vs East coast should NOT be and issue.
SpaceX has demonstrated something like L-8hr late load, by using a special "clean room" tent on the TE, at the pad. For Cygnus, I believe that Late Load is something like L-48hr (before transport to pad), in the HIF. So "late load" doesn't means the same.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 12/01/2014 08:13 PM

again flying late loads out to the West coast vs East coast should NOT be and issue.


It isn't flying them out.  It is having a lab available at the launch site to prep the payloads.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: pericynthion on 12/02/2014 12:57 AM
I was curious what the record was for the minimum inclination (most easterly azimuth) launch from Vandenberg. From trawling Jonathan McDowell's launch log and the Space Track database, best I can find was NROL-3, with a 57 degree inclination.  I think that requires a dogleg to avoid Baja; an ISS launch would need a larger dogleg.  I haven't run the numbers to see the impact on payload performance for an F9.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/03/2014 08:29 AM
SpaceFlight Insider has received word that the potential prime “contender” to ferry Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft to orbit, and thus allow Orbital to complete its requirements under the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS ) contract – is none other than fellow CRS participant – SpaceX. If this turns out to be true, it would mean that both current CRS firms – would be flying on the same rocket.
Source: spaceflightinsider.com

What surprises me the most about this information is that SpaceX can make two F9s available within a year (expected launch dates mid - late 2015) of being ordered. The industry norm is 2 years. With the RLV SpaceX could have lead times in months even weeks if customers are willing to use a 2nd hand booster. The other plus for customers is the option to launch earlier if their satellite is ready, complete satellites don't make any money sitting on ground waiting on LVs. To compete competitors may need to have spare LVs.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/03/2014 11:16 AM
SpaceFlight Insider has received word that the potential prime “contender” to ferry Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft to orbit, and thus allow Orbital to complete its requirements under the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS ) contract – is none other than fellow CRS participant – SpaceX. If this turns out to be true, it would mean that both current CRS firms – would be flying on the same rocket.
Source: spaceflightinsider.com

What surprises me the most about this information is that SpaceX can make two F9s available within a year (expected launch dates mid - late 2015) of being ordered. The industry norm is 2 years. With the RLV SpaceX could have lead times in months even weeks if customers are willing to use a 2nd hand booster. The other plus for customers is the option to launch earlier if their satellite is ready, complete satellites don't make any money sitting on ground waiting on LVs. To compete competitors may need to have spare LVs.
IIRC According to Jim LVs are build to order to the payload. So having  a number of spare cores might not work.

Of course SpaceX have the advantage of being able to modifying a LV stack on the fly since they have very few supply chain bottlenecks. Most parts are just on the other side of the SpaceX factory instead of on other side of the country.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: rpapo on 12/03/2014 11:26 AM
IIRC According to Jim LVs are build to order to the payload. So having  a number of spare cores might not work.

Of course SpaceX have the advantage of being able to modifying a LV stack on the fly since they have very few supply chain bottlenecks. Most parts are just on the other side of the SpaceX factory instead of on other side of the country.
The only physical part of the Falcon that should need customization is the spot where the satellite mounts to the rocket.  I wouldn't characterize that as making a custom launch vehicle, though.  Witness the core swap between AsiaSat 6 and CRS-4, for instance.  If the rockets were truly custom, that would not have been easy.

The flight software (or some data tables therein) would need to be updated, though I suspect that is an extreme "late load" item...

Jim may know better, as he gets to see the hardware firsthand.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/03/2014 02:41 PM
IIRC According to Jim LVs are build to order to the payload. So having  a number of spare cores might not work.
Of course Jim has pointed out in the distance pre ULA past that Lockheed use to keep an extra Atlas in the flow so they could quickly accommodate opportunities like this. For some reason I suspect ULA no longer does this.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 12/03/2014 06:27 PM

It's not a two in one year. Orbital expects about two years for the 200 Antares. So it might be closer to one core in 15 months and one core in 20 months. Besides, when you have a busy manifest and you are planning 12+ cores equal cores per year, you can do some tricks.
Let's say for the sake of example that you have a 24months production schedule. But you are producing 12 cores per year (or one per month). And your pipeline is separated in 12 steps, so you have two cores in each stage of the pipepline, 24 total. It's not like this but is just to get an example.
So, you normally set the schedule for each stage of the production pipeline with some margin. You can't really accelerate a 24month production schedule to 12months. But if you can shave 1 week from each stage if you work overtime and accelerate some processes. Suddenly the core that was L-4months can be pushed to L-3. Since you can now build a whole core in 18months, you keep pushing cores ahead of schedule and can thus offer an L-15months contract since the actual payload for that contract (the one that was L-18 now), will get the core that could rush to build in 18 months.
In reality, the shift is not that extreme but can be done. Of course that this works fine when you have 10+ rockets per year in production. For Delta IV like productions it doesn't works (the fact that the engines require L-30 lead time because of the ablative nozzle construction, doesn't help).
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: 411rocket on 12/04/2014 04:52 AM
Also remember, 39A could be available, to use around then. So potentially, all ISS flights could be launching from 39A, while commercial continues at LC40. That is, until Brownsville is ready, for operations.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: rayleighscatter on 12/06/2014 11:28 PM
It's not a two in one year. Orbital expects about two years for the 200 Antares.
I picked up somewhere that Orbital expects a hotfire at the end of 2015. I can't recall where though, so feel free to call bunk on it.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 12/06/2014 11:58 PM
It's not a two in one year. Orbital expects about two years for the 200 Antares.
I picked up somewhere that Orbital expects a hotfire at the end of 2015. I can't recall where though, so feel free to call bunk on it.

I saw something similar in USA Today.

Late 2015 hotfire, 2016 launch. Also doing soil (sand?) remediation at the crash site.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: guckyfan on 12/07/2014 07:59 AM
It's not a two in one year. Orbital expects about two years for the 200 Antares. So it might be closer to one core in 15 months and one core in 20 months.

In that - likely - case wouldn't they need more than two launches on other vehicles to keep their obligations? They are already behind by one.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/07/2014 01:32 PM
It's not a two in one year. Orbital expects about two years for the 200 Antares. So it might be closer to one core in 15 months and one core in 20 months.

In that - likely - case wouldn't they need more than two launches on other vehicles to keep their obligations? They are already behind by one.

IIRC the enhanced Cygnus on the F9 have a greater payload than on the Antares 130. So 2 F9 flights equals 3 Antares 130 flights in up mass more or less. With cheaper launcher cost since Orbital is using 2 cheaper F9 instead of 3 more expensive Antares 130. The launch cost per Antares 130 is about $240m from one of the NSF Orbital threads.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 12/07/2014 05:49 PM
The launch cost per Antares 130 is about $240m from one of the NSF Orbital threads.


For the whole stack including Cygnus. Antares is maybe a third of that?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: rayleighscatter on 12/07/2014 08:18 PM
The launch cost per Antares 130 is about $240m from one of the NSF Orbital threads.
That's very high. The entire contract for Orbital is 1.9 Billion and that includes Antares, Cygnus, operations, etc. With 9 originally planned flights a $240m Antares alone would have cost 2.1 Billion.

EDIT: Accidentally misrepresented the demo flight thinking it was part of CRS, not COTS. My point is still correct though, that Antares by itself is much much less than $240m per flight.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 12/07/2014 08:35 PM
The launch cost per Antares 130 is about $240m from one of the NSF Orbital threads.
That's very high. The entire contract for Orbital is 1.9 Billion and that includes Antares, Cygnus, operations, etc. With 9 originally planned flights a $240m Antares alone would have cost 2.1 Billion.

There were originally 8 planned flights under CRS-1.  The other flight was under COTS.  I believe the $240m number came from the CRS-1 contract and includes not just the launch vehicle but Cygnus and everything else -- someone just divided the total to Orbital from CRS-1 by the 8 flights.  Antares itself has never been broken out as a separate line item.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: S.Paulissen on 12/07/2014 08:37 PM
The launch cost per Antares 130 is about $240m from one of the NSF Orbital threads.
That's very high. The entire contract for Orbital is 1.9 Billion and that includes Antares, Cygnus, operations, etc. With 9 originally planned flights a $240m Antares alone would have cost 2.1 Billion.

Contract was for 8 flights, thus the per flight cost of just shy of $240m (237.5m).

Wilson beat me to it.  Given that SpX rocket is $57m per launch (pre-price hike) and their per launch price was $133.3m we can get an incredibly rough estimate of the cost of Antares as a rocket.  At 133.3m the 57m falcon 9 is approximately 42.8% of the launch price of a SpX CRS mission.  If we make a heavy handed assumption that Orbital's costs are roughly in the same proportion as SpX, I estimate that Antares costs ~$101.5m per launch. 

Yikes, 40% more cost for 40% less performance (numbers pulled out of a dark damp cavern.)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: MDDevice on 12/09/2014 06:36 PM
Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/09/2014 06:46 PM
Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251

So to summarize:

Cygnus CRS-4 - Fall 2015 - Atlas V (401?)
Cygnus CRS-5 - 1Q 2016 - Antares "231" (Atlas V as back-up)
Cygnus CRS-6 - 2Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-7 - 4Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-8 - removed from CRS-1 contract (has the spacecraft parts been built yet?)

Is that correct?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/09/2014 06:49 PM
Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251
So much for the Spaceflight Insider and their SpaceX prediction. There was similar prediction about DC and CC. The only reliable source is the actual companies/ agencies involved in the decision making process.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 12/09/2014 06:54 PM
Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251

So to summarize:

Cygnus CRS-4 - Fall 2015 - Atlas V (401?)
Cygnus CRS-5 - 1Q 2016 - Antares "231" (Atlas V as back-up)
Cygnus CRS-6 - 2Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-7 - 4Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-8 - removed from CRS-1 contract (has the spacecraft parts been built yet?)

Is that correct?

Probably Antares "230"

"231" would have Bipropellant Transfer Stage.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 12/09/2014 06:58 PM
Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251

So to summarize:

Cygnus CRS-4 - Fall 2015 - Atlas V (401?)
Cygnus CRS-5 - 1Q 2016 - Antares "231" (Atlas V as back-up)
Cygnus CRS-6 - 2Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-7 - 4Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-8 - removed from CRS-1 contract (has the spacecraft parts been built yet?)

Is that correct?

Probably Antares "230"

"231" would have Bipropellant Transfer Stage.
131 had the highest performance to ISS, something like 10% to 18% more than 130 depending on final altitude (300km vs 350km). In the press release they are talking about a 20% extra payload (compared to an Antares 130's 2700kg), which is about a 12% extra total performance. Could it be achieved just with a new core? Could they be planning a Castor 30XLB?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/09/2014 07:15 PM
Interesting to see that ULA/Lockheed Martin has yet to announce this contract....  ::)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: psloss on 12/09/2014 07:16 PM
Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251
So much for the Spaceflight Insider and their SpaceX prediction. There was similar prediction about DC and CC. The only reliable source is the actual companies/ agencies involved in the decision making process.
To be fair, they were a messenger for that and largely the same thing was reported in a story here.


Edit -- same press release, via Orbital.com link:
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=1928
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/09/2014 07:22 PM
Interesting to see that ULA/Lockheed Martin has yet to announce this contract....  ::)

And my wish has been granted: http://www.ulalaunch.com/ula-signs-contract-with-orbital-sciences.aspx (http://www.ulalaunch.com/ula-signs-contract-with-orbital-sciences.aspx)

The launch(es) will use the 401 version.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: psloss on 12/09/2014 07:24 PM
Thanks for the spotting the ULA link.

It will still be interesting (as we were wondering a few weeks back) to see what integration of the Enhanced Cygnus with the Atlas V looks like.  If it's a 401, maybe they'll waive the late load requirement and adjust the cargo distribution accordingly.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 12/09/2014 09:53 PM

Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251

So to summarize:

Cygnus CRS-4 - Fall 2015 - Atlas V (401?)
Cygnus CRS-5 - 1Q 2016 - Antares "231" (Atlas V as back-up)
Cygnus CRS-6 - 2Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-7 - 4Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-8 - removed from CRS-1 contract (has the spacecraft parts been built yet?)

Is that correct?

They wouldn't use the same number would they?
Why wouldn't they?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Tomness on 12/10/2014 01:59 PM
They also have a CRS contract with NASA, which might give NASA some leverage to make them add a Cygnus launch?

OSC has a CRS contract too, they could contract ULA for launch services and this would be transparent to NASA.  NASA has no leverage on Spacex or OSC to tell them which launch vehicle to use.

Don't bet against The Night-Gator - you will lose lol- We need to take Jim with us to Texas hold'em probably win big time
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 12/10/2014 10:35 PM

Cygnus will fly on the Atlas V

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81036&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1996251

So to summarize:

Cygnus CRS-4 - Fall 2015 - Atlas V (401?)
Cygnus CRS-5 - 1Q 2016 - Antares "231" (Atlas V as back-up)
Cygnus CRS-6 - 2Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-7 - 4Q 2016 - Antares "231"
Cygnus CRS-8 - removed from CRS-1 contract (has the spacecraft parts been built yet?)

Is that correct?

They wouldn't use the same number would they?
Why wouldn't they?
my number mix up....removed :o
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/19/2015 07:32 PM
With NASA pushing ahead with a BEO habitat/mini station, the Cygnus module would be prime candidate as a resupply vehicle. There is still the issue of disposing of it and the rubbish it carrys. Instead of sending it into deep space for disposal give it a secondary mission.
1) Place it in lunar orbit as Comms relay.
2) Load it with hatch basket plus cubesats and use it to survey Asteroids.

Using electric bus would help extend these missions.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 03/16/2015 05:36 PM
With the Jupiter space tug appearing as a rival I wonder if Orbital will build a Cygnus 2 in a few years time?

New functions could be adding an arm and inflight refuelling.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: jacqmans on 08/12/2015 06:57 PM
Multiple Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Modules
 

Multiple Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Modules at Thales Alenia Space’s production facility in Turin, Italy. They will be used to transport supplies to the International Space Station on future Orbital ATK CRS missions. Photo credit: Thales Alenia Space
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 08/12/2015 07:54 PM
The EXIF states that it was taken on February 2nd, 2015. I'm counting 5 PCM. Which would imply CRS-5 to CRS-9!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 08/13/2015 02:42 AM
The EXIF states that it was taken on February 2nd, 2015. I'm counting 5 PCM. Which would imply CRS-5 to CRS-9!

This would have been taken before the Orb-4 PCM shipped correct? So we're seeing PCM's for Orb-4 through Orb-8e (assuming these are all flight units).

It's very possible there are more PCMs somewhere at Thales: on the most recent earnings call, OrbATK said they had 2 additional missions. I'm assuming that means we'll see 8e and 9 for sure, and possibly Orb-10?

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/13/2015 04:18 AM
The EXIF states that it was taken on February 2nd, 2015. I'm counting 5 PCM. Which would imply CRS-5 to CRS-9!

This would have been taken before the Orb-4 PCM shipped correct? So we're seeing PCM's for Orb-4 through Orb-8e (assuming these are all flight units).

It's very possible there are more PCMs somewhere at Thales: on the most recent earnings call, OrbATK said they had 2 additional missions. I'm assuming that means we'll see 8e and 9 for sure, and possibly Orb-10?


The one in the foreground is ORB-4 sitting in the bottom half of its shipping container.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/14/2015 09:10 PM
I've just trimmed this thread a bit as it used a copy of an image in a fact sheet that Orbital ATK say was a mistake graphic. That fact sheet's been updated, but having a graphic saved here would be a misrepresentation.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/17/2015 08:54 PM
Quote
NASA ordered two more cargo deliveries to the International Space Station from Orbital ATK under a 2008 Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract, a company spokeswoman said Aug. 12.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-orders-two-more-iss-cargo-missions-from-orbital-atk/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: rayleighscatter on 08/17/2015 09:15 PM
I wonder now if part of the driver for that recent Atlas order was to move more volume uphill quickly to free up later Antares flights for the extended contract.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 08/17/2015 11:37 PM
I wonder now if part of the driver for that recent Atlas order was to move more volume uphill quickly to free up later Antares flights for the extended contract.
I believe it's rather a way to ensure smooth delivery at first. If I were to bet, I would bet on Atlas V (CRS4)->Antares 230->Atlas V->Antares 230. The first flight is sure to have some anomalies that would need to be studied and mitigated. And were anything to happen to the debut or second flight, they would have enough time to add a third Atlas V. Besides, if they can do the first Antares plus the two Atlases, that would mean 10.2 tonnes of cargo already on the ISS (plus whatever SpaceX and HTV can rush in). After that, ISS reserves should be in a much better situation.
If lead times are an issue for CRS2, they could very well add another Atlas V in the mean time.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 08/17/2015 11:49 PM
I wonder now if part of the driver for that recent Atlas order was to move more volume uphill quickly to free up later Antares flights for the extended contract.

I'd guess it's more about 2016 revenues.

They keep cash flowing, even if they have problems with Antares RTF.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/18/2015 06:56 AM
This FISO podcast was about German ideas for DSH and using it for artificial gravity experiments.

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Derz-Hill_6-17-15/

One possible use of Cygnus post CRS mission is to do tethered artificial gravity experiment. Would another space craft to tether to, this could be a Cygnus from a previous CRS mission. Alternatively a Dragon, in which dragon may carry the experiments as the can be directly returned to earth.
As one of the listeners pointed out, it is not just about testing life sciences but also how equipment would work in lunar or mars gravity.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: jongoff on 08/18/2015 05:43 PM
This FISO podcast was about German ideas for DSH and using it for artificial gravity experiments.

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Derz-Hill_6-17-15/

One possible use of Cygnus post CRS mission is to do tethered artificial gravity experiment. Would another space craft to tether to, this could be a Cygnus from a previous CRS mission. Alternatively a Dragon, in which dragon may carry the experiments as the can be directly returned to earth.
As one of the listeners pointed out, it is not just about testing life sciences but also how equipment would work in lunar or mars gravity.

A lot of the difficulties in ISS life support come from there not being gravity or natural convection. It would be interesting to find out how much simpler and more reliable you could make long-duration life support if you could assume artificial gravity. Maybe it's a minor benefit, or maybe it's huge.

~Jon
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/19/2015 08:43 PM
Another possible use for Cygnus is robotic construction yard. Something along the lines of a kit set house in a container. Fit the Cygnus up with MadeInSpaces printers some
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/19/2015 08:57 PM
Another possible use for Cygnus is robotic construction yard. Something along the lines of a kit set house in a container. Fit the Cygnus out with MadeInSpaces printers a robotic arm or two and Nano rackets idea of modular satellite construction.

http://www.madeinspace.us/projects/

Ideal for large telescopes eg James Webb. A lot of the issues with JWST is folding all the sunshades and mirrors into a fairing for launch.
Robotic assembly makes servicing easier and repairs while assembly possible.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: DatUser14 on 08/19/2015 09:01 PM
Would it be possible to make a Cygnus variant with a wider and taller PCM and launch it on an AV 551, to gain back something approaching ATV upmass capability?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 08/19/2015 09:09 PM
Would it be possible to make a Cygnus variant with a wider and taller PCM and launch it on an AV 551, to gain back something approaching ATV upmass capability?
I'm pretty sure it is actually possible. But they would need to modify the service module and propulsion section to regain the control authority. And the PCM would be so big that would require more expensive transportation. And you'd need bigger thrusters and more propellant. And yet NASA does want a between 4 and 6 missions per year. That's the sweet spot between having enough visiting opportunities (so they can manifest something that broke down or is in need) and the crew time and microgravity disruption of each berthing and unberthing operation.
Besides, Orbital made Cygnus to fit within the Antares and I don't expect that to change.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/31/2015 01:18 PM
Enhanced Cygnus to help Orbital ATK meet CRS contract by 2017 -
By Chris Gebhardt:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/08/enhanced-cygnus-help-orbital-atk-crs-contract-2017/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: okan170 on 09/01/2015 06:59 AM
Possible rejected variant of the Enhanced Cygnus?   :P
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/01/2015 01:45 PM
Looks a little small, how much cargo can you stuff inside?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/01/2015 02:56 PM
Just critical supplies like onions, herbs, bread and eggs.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/28/2015 08:37 AM

Update presentation by Frank Culbertson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc-Kr9Py9jE

One thing Frank talked about in this video was a freeflyer spacestation, I assume Orbital are considering something like ESA Columbus freeflyer idea from 80s. A Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM) based in LEO could be basis of a freeflyer spacestation, which would not be permanently manned. The EAM could provide room for exercise equipment plus additional space for experiments. With only 2-3 crew the visiting vehicle would have extra space for supplies and experiment racks.

A lot of the costs and astronaut time on ISS is spent maintaining a large expensive structure. With EAM most of complex equipment would be in visiting vehicle which can be service on ground. With only a few $100M tried up the EAM, replacing it every few years with an upgraded version is an option. Even when not manned it could provide revenue with hosted payloads.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: kingfisherb90 on 01/15/2016 04:29 AM
Anyone able to math these together?

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-spacex-win-air-force-propulsion-contracts/
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/03-Walz_Cygnus_Beyond_Low-Earth_Orbit.pdf

What sort of Orbital station could be built using a rocket derrived from a CBM plus GEM-63s strap-ons, plus some BE-3U(s)?

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 01/15/2016 05:34 PM
During the CRS-2 press conference, it was mentionned that Orbital/ATK has the option of bringing up a spacecraft with unpressurized cargo only.

What might that look like? Like half a Cygnus with one end missing?

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cygnus-ucm.htm

Basically the Cygnus service module with an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier on it.

Thanks. I wonder if NASA will exercise that option. That seems like a lot of unpressurised cargo.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 01/16/2016 12:51 AM
That could bring one huge ORU! Or a whole module ;-)
Not a lot of space inside the Antares fairing...
But it is already integrated with Atlas V. With potentially 18 tonnes (with an Atlas V 552) to ISS injection orbit I believe they have it pretty well covered. BTW, the Antares fairing is thin but long.

BTW, the numbers according to their press release were 4,400kg of cargo on an Atlas V. Have they bid the four segment Cygnus?
Their press release strongly implies that the initial task orders will be the current "enhanced Cygnus." How they proposed to stuff 4.4t in there is beyond me... lots of water? Send the astros some free weights and a Bocce set?
Actually, Enhanced Cygnus is the craft with most available volume (27m³). And they could very easily do 33m³ with a four segment. I know that on the conference NASA stated that they had bid the same "Enhanced Cignus" (AKA three segment Cygnus). The four segment couldn't use an Atlas V 401 because the it wouldn't fit under the fairing (because of the length).
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/16/2016 01:42 PM

Actually, Enhanced Cygnus is the craft with most available volume (27m³). And they could very easily do 33m³ with a four segment. I know that on the conference NASA stated that they had bid the same "Enhanced Cignus" (AKA three segment Cygnus). The four segment couldn't use an Atlas V 401 because the it wouldn't fit under the fairing (because of the length).

Simple solution use an Atlas V 501. Which in theory could take a 5 segment PCM Cygnus up.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/29/2016 03:33 AM
I wasn't sure where to place this news, but since this could be flying on OA-7, I thought it would be best to place this here.

Last night I found out that the QB50 cubesats are going to be launched by Nanoracks in October this year. That appears to align with OA-7, currently scheduled for the 4th of October. This means that QB50 won't be able to complete their main science mission by flying over the poles. There's also a large cost increase for some cubesats, since they now have to be made ISS compatible. For example, SUSat being developed here in South Australia has to get a new battery and power convertor. Launch from ISS is to be from an altitude of 400 km, giving a nine month life in orbit.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/01/2016 01:37 AM
Confirmation that QB50 is flying with Nanoracks. New information is that Nanoracks will be launching 40 QB50's with the rest on Dnepr.

http://www.satellitetoday.com/launch/2016/01/29/qb50-launch-switches-from-alcantara-cyclone-space-to-nanoracks-and-kosmotras/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/03/2016 03:55 AM

Actually, Enhanced Cygnus is the craft with most available volume (27m³). And they could very easily do 33m³ with a four segment. I know that on the conference NASA stated that they had bid the same "Enhanced Cignus" (AKA three segment Cygnus). The four segment couldn't use an Atlas V 401 because the it wouldn't fit under the fairing (because of the length).

Simple solution use an Atlas V 501. Which in theory could take a 5 segment PCM Cygnus up.
Or much cheaper, use a Falcon 9. Even with reuse it gets more to ISS orbit than Atlas V 501 does.

(of course the reason at the time you wouldn't do that is because SpaceX had the same sort of problem that Orbital did: explodey rocket :( )
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: sghill on 02/10/2016 08:12 PM
Next Cygnus flight to ISS is delayed because of...wait for it... space mold!

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2016/02/10/black-mold-delays-iss-cargo-launch-cape-canaveral/80174420/

NASA is investigating the source of black mold that contaminated cargo bags bound for the International Space Station, delaying the next launch of supplies from Florida's Space Coast.

An unmanned Orbital ATK Cygnus craft, which had been scheduled to launch March 10 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, now is targeting a March 22 liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, according to ULA.

NASA said microbial analysis during a routine inspections at Kennedy Space Center found evidence of common black mold on two bags. The space agency decided to disinfect every bag, which required removing cargo already packed in the Cygnus.

It's the first time black mold has caused a problem during ISS cargo processing.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 02/10/2016 08:36 PM
Not actual mold but spores
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: docmordrid on 02/11/2016 06:54 AM
Give those spores 25-30°C and a dead air zone and you have more than spores. Don't stop it and you have a mycotoxin factory, plus likely allergic responses. Definitely non-trivial.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 02/11/2016 09:11 AM
Also, just want to point out that there wasn't likely a contamination event, just a problem in the cleaning process. 
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: woods170 on 02/11/2016 12:59 PM
Give those spores 25-30°C and a dead air zone and you have more than spores. Don't stop it and you have a mycotoixin factory, plus likely allergic responses. Definitely non-trivial.
That's a fact. The cosmonauts flying on Mir in it's later years can testify to that.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/13/2016 03:23 PM
Thanks for the great article Chris G. I would think they would try to identify the species of mold to trace back all the steps in processing and locations ie.(clean rooms)...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Comga on 02/15/2016 05:41 PM
Chris' article was picked up in today's "AIA Daily Lead" email. 
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Comga on 02/15/2016 05:49 PM
Pardon my lack of search-fu, but do we have a list of the nanosats to be deployed from the external NanoRacks dispenser on OA-6?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/01/2016 09:49 PM
SNC reported that OA has made a follow on order for berthing mechanisms from them. While this in and of its self isn't unusual I was surprised that their press release said that with OA-4 three of their PCBM's have now been to the ISS. 4 Cygnus (Cygnii?) have been to the station, is their number wrong or did OA use a different PCBM for the demo mission?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 03/01/2016 09:54 PM
SNC reported that OA has made a follow on order for berthing mechanisms from them. While this in and of its self isn't unusual I was surprised that their press release said that with OA-4 three of their PCBM's have now been to the ISS. 4 Cygnus (Cygnii?) have been to the station, is their number wrong or did OA use a different PCBM for the demo mission?

Edit: Looks like the Orb-D1 PCBM was furnished straight from NASA as GFE:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/581564main_11-08_SpaceOps.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/02/2016 08:16 PM
SNC press release:
http://www.sncorp.com/AboutUs/NewsDetails/2978

RELEASE: Sierra Nevada Corporation Awarded Follow-on Contract to Support Orbital ATK’s Commercial Resupply Services Programs

SPARKS, Nev. (March 1, 2016) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems was recently awarded a contract to provide multiple Passive Common Berthing Mechanisms (PCBM) by Special Aerospace Services (SAS) of Boulder, Colorado for Orbital ATK’s Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft in support of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 1 and 2 (CRS1, CRS2) programs. This contract follows a previous order with SNC resulting in the complete delivery of eight PCBM units in support of Orbital ATK’s CRS1 missions. With the berthing of the OA-4 Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS on December 9, 2015, three SNC PCBM units have now flown and successfully berthed with the ISS. The PCBMs provide a sealed connection between Cygnus and the International Space Station (ISS), enabling delivery and removal of critical supplies.

“We are pleased to provide the berthing mechanism for Cygnus and aid in the continuous resupply and support of the ISS,” said John Roth, vice president of business development for SNC’s Space Systems. “SNC has always been focused on creating a diverse portfolio of reliable products that our industry partners can count on. We’ve been supporting critical missions throughout the solar system for more than 25 years, and we’re proud to be continuously adding to that legacy.”

In addition to supporting Cygnus flights, SNC has also delivered a PCBM to NASA for the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), a two-year technology demonstration on expandable space habitats. BEAM is scheduled to launch in 2016.

SNC’s Space Technologies product line offers a wide range of subsystems and components including launch adapters and separation systems, pointing systems and motion control, and electrical power systems that have flown on more than 400 missions. In addition to providing PCBMs for the Cygnus spacecraft, SNC’s wholly-owned subsidiary Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) also developed and supplies Cygnus with the first-ever LED navigation lighting system.

About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area based in Louisville, Colorado, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. Government, commercial customers, as well as for the international market.  SNC’s Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage and has participated in over 400 successful space missions through the delivery of over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components.  During its history, SNC’s Space Systems has concluded over 70 programs for NASA and over 50 other clients. For more information about SNC’s Space Systems visit http://www.sncspace.com/ and follow us at Facebook.com/SNCSpaceSystems and Twitter @SNCspacesystems.

About Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, delivers technology and teams designed to connect and protect, through innovative solutions in aircraft, aerospace, electronics, cyber and avionics. With a track record of success spanning five decades, SNC has been honored as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies, “The Top Woman-owned Federal Contractor in the U.S.,” and is among “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Space.” SNC and its subsidiaries and affiliates operate under the leadership of Owner & President Eren Ozmen and Owner & CEO Fatih Ozmen, with a workforce of nearly 3,000 personnel in 33 locations in 18 U.S. states, England, Germany and Turkey.

For more information on SNC visit www.sncorp.com and follow us at Facebook/Sierra Nevada Corporation. Sierra Nevada Corporation and SNC are trademarks of Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Media Contact: [email protected] or Betsy McDonald at 775-849-6435.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus Cargo Vehicle and SNC's PCBM Ring.
 Media Contact
  Betsy McDonald
  Sierra Nevada Corporation
  (O) 775-849-6435
  Email

  Krystal Scordo
  SNC's Space Systems
  (O) 720-407-3223
  Email
 
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/02/2016 09:31 PM
Dave Thompson comments on CRS 1&2 in Orbital's quarterly earnings call:  He is expecting 10 to 12 missions under CRS 2, and CRS 2 terms are better than CRS 1 (from the context, it sounds like CRS 2 payments are front-loaded.)

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As I mentioned, earlier, the company received two additional CRS 1 extension missions last year and we are in discussions now about the possibility of additional one or more additional extension missions this year to help bridge that gap before 2019 when new missions under the new CRS 2 contract would commence. While NASA has not yet established the details of its long-term plans for CRS 2, we expect the space agency to order 10 to 12 of our Cygnus Cargo Mission under that new contract for flights that would commence in 2019 and continue through 2024, the current planned retirement date of the space station. The effect at our level would be to continue to see revenue increase on the CRS program in 2016 compared to last year and then to probably stabilize at about this year's level from here on out as at least through the end of the decade. We could be either high low a little bit in that outlook and it will depend on how NASA finalizes its plans for supporting the space station over the long-term.

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Under the terms of the CRS 2 contract, the payment profiles are somewhat improved and so as we transition through the completion of CRS 1 and into steady state operations on CRS 2, although it still won't represent a highly working-capital efficient business, it will improve compared to what we've experienced over the last two or three years. CRS 2 will have improved terms relative to CRS 1.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: DGH on 05/22/2016 06:22 PM
I could be wrong but this document redefines what we or at least I know about Cygnus:

https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/OA6-Mission-Page/Documents/Factsheet_Cygnus_OA-6.pdf (https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/OA6-Mission-Page/Documents/Factsheet_Cygnus_OA-6.pdf)

total  7492 kg
fuel 828 kg
cargo 3513 kg.
That makes dry mass about 3151 kg
If 1800 kg for the cargo module then the service module is 1351 kg dry.
Also 828 KG may not be the max for fuel.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: deruch on 11/27/2017 04:41 PM
Bit of a Bump...

Quote
ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/22/2017

TangoLab-1 Transfer to Cygnus (OA-8):  The crew removed TangoLab-1 from EXPRESS Rack 4, and transferred the facility to Cygnus for a short demonstration of TangoLab-1 operations in Cygnus. This is being performed as a proof of the “extended lab” concept, wherein visiting vehicles can be used as an extension of the ISS laboratory volume while attached.  TangoLab-1 is a reconfigurable general research facility designed for microgravity research and development and pilot manufacturing aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Is NASA planing for Cygnus to stay berthed to the station for longer periods in the future?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: gongora on 01/03/2018 02:05 AM
Is the Orbital/ATK CRS-1 contract running through OA-12 now?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/03/2018 02:22 AM
Bit of a Bump...

Quote
ISS Daily Summary Report – 11/22/2017

TangoLab-1 Transfer to Cygnus (OA-8):  The crew removed TangoLab-1 from EXPRESS Rack 4, and transferred the facility to Cygnus for a short demonstration of TangoLab-1 operations in Cygnus. This is being performed as a proof of the “extended lab” concept, wherein visiting vehicles can be used as an extension of the ISS laboratory volume while attached.  TangoLab-1 is a reconfigurable general research facility designed for microgravity research and development and pilot manufacturing aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Is NASA planing for Cygnus to stay berthed to the station for longer periods in the future?

I don't think so, just bringing up experiments in Cygnus, doing them there (Or bringing experiments from the station into Cygnus), probably only for very short experiments.

I guess it could stay berthed to the station longer, 2 months sounds safe, but I think that since most of Cygnus is used for bringing up consumables, long-term experiments for the station itself and possibly large items (like space suits or backup hardware), there wouldn't be much room left for in-Cygnus experiments.

I wouldn't even be surprised if they did made part of Dragon or the HTVs into mini labs, maybe even Dream Chaser in the future!

We will see, though!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus General Discussion Thread
Post by: Sam Ho on 01/03/2018 05:11 AM
Is the Orbital/ATK CRS-1 contract running through OA-12 now?

At the OA-8 launch, Frank DeMauro described OA-12 as the first CRS-2 mission.

Frank DeMauro said that OA's plan is to continue flying Cygnus on Antares, and that they currently have orders out to OA-13.

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DeMauro said there are no plans to return to the Atlas 5 for the foreseeable future, as the company completes its original Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract and starts a follow-on award called CRS-2. “Our baseline plan is to continue to fly Cygnus on Antares,” he said. “We are ready to respond to our customer’s needs, if they should require something different, but for all of the rest of CRS-1 and so far for the CRS-2 missions we’re planning to do them on Antares.”

After this launch, Orbital ATK has three missions remaining on its CRS contract, OA-9, 10 and 11. No firm launch dates have been set, but DeMauro said OA-9 could launch as soon as the first quarter of 2018. OA-10 would then likely follow in the fall of 2018 and OA-11 in early 2019. DeMauro said later that NASA has ordered two Cygnus missions so far under its CRS-2 contract, OA-12 and 13.

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-looks-to-antares-to-handle-cargo-resupply-missions/